Microsoft Edge developer Eric Lawrence has planted a change in the Chromium Gerrit that finally fixes the annoying drag and drop quirk in Chrome 85. Mr. Lawrence detailed the recently reported fix in a blog post highlighting the problem.
Now, the bug in question is as much a feature as an issue. Namely, it lets users drag files from their computer or Chromebook to a web page for uploading. That allows a variety of file types to be put on the web quickly, without much effort or file manager navigation. For instance, a user might upload an HTML file or picture to a form in order to add it to a site.
But one big problem with that is how Chrome responds when the page the file is dragged to doesn't support the feature. Conversely, the problem also appears if the page does support it but doesn't load properly. Or if the upload feature happens to load after the user has dragged and dropped their file. It can also occur when users happen to miss the target area on some pages before dropping.
In those cases, the file doesn't get uploaded. Instead, the file often opens in Chrome. And it opens in place of the current tab, overwriting whatever happened to be loaded there before. If the upload was associated with a more in-depth form or wasn't meant to be dropped on that page at all, everything that was on the page is wiped away.
Sometimes, it is impossible to get that information back, forcing users to start over with whatever they had been doing on the page in question after navigating back to the page.
So what's the solution to the drag and drop bug in Chrome 85?
The solution proposed by Mr. Lawrence is fairly straight forward. As indicated above, Chrome responds by opening files in the 'current' tab. That's whatever tab the user happens to have open when the drag and drop are performed. The developer switched up the code so that it would open files in a new tab. That's as opposed to opening in the current one.
So the solution here is fairly small in terms of what it actually changes. But it should have a comparatively massive impact. Especially for anybody who has ever lost work due to problems with the feature.
Additionally, Mr. Lawrence is looking to keep the old functionality intact. So instead of just the one change, he has ensured that Chrome allows users to open content in the current tab too. Instead of dragging a file into the general browser window though, they'll need to be more precise. To open content in the current tab, users will need to drop the file directly on top of a tab in the tab strip.
Conversely, users will also be able to open the content between open tabs by dropping between opened tabs.
Of course, this is coming to Edge too
Aside from looking to apply the drag and drop fix to Chrome as of Chrome 85, the Microsoft developer says the plan is also to deliver it to Microsoft Edge. There's no timeframe outlined beyond the word "soon." But the new Edge browser is based on Chromium. So it shouldn't prove too difficult to implement there either.
Of course, Chrome 83 only just landed back in mid-May. And Chrome 84 isn't slated to arrive until June 14, while June 12 is the cut-off date for adding new Chrome features to version 85. But although the addition was made prior to the feature freeze, drag and drop fixes won't arrive for a while still. Chrome 85 and Chrome OS 85 aren't expected to land until August 25 and September 1, respectively.
So neither Chrome or Edge will likely see the feature arrive in the immediate future.